Welcome fall! I’ve been waiting for you, for boots and sweatshirts, bonfires and leaf raking, for pumpkins and apples. Let the celebration begin! Not that I haven’t been foreshadowing your arrival with pumpkin cookies and hot chocolate already. Growing up on a farm, fall meant harvest. I loved riding in the combine with my dad, watching the grain pour into the hopper wagons and smelling the harvest dust in the crisp air. It was a busy time of hard work, but rewarding and filled with energy….
This moist, peanut-buttery muffin studded with apple chunks and topped with crunchy granola is a healthy and satisfying treat.
Lately, I have had people asking me how I can make so many delicious, sugary treats and still eat somewhat healthy. While I do taste everything I make (Quality control is a must, I would never share something with you that didn’t pass!), my husband and I don’t eat near all of what I bake. We give most of it away; our friends, family and neighbors love us for it, and it’s huge help to not have temptation staring us in the face (Although, there are some things we just can’t help eating all ourselves!).
So it’s the time of year when everyone’s gardens are overflowing with zucchini. It almost should be described as a weed, it’s so easy to grow. But yet, I harbor a bit of jealousy, because there is not even one little scraggly plant of zucchini in my garden, which is non-existent. Between working full time, blogging and a tiny yard, for the past two years I haven’t been gardening, unless you count the 3 small tomato plants in the landscaping around the shed trying to survive the downpour from the eaves from all the heavy rains we’ve had this summer. I won’t complain too much about my lack of zucchini, because in Lancaster County, I can pick up a zucchini on every corner big enough to make me 6 loaves of bread for a few pennies.
These pretzel wrapped hot dogs stuffed with jalapenos, cream cheese and cheddar make me happy. Hot dogs and jalapenos, neither of which get me to excited alone, but when paired with bread and cheese they suddenly become heroes of flavors. Maybe I’m just biased because these pretzel dogs have been my brainchild for several weeks and I spent a Saturday morning lovingly coaxing them to life. Anyways, I’m bursting to share them with you. I recommend making them on a lazy rainy day and enjoy their pretty sunshine of colors and flavors.
So here are my first pictures of taken in manual mode on my new camera. Not a professional yet, but I’m starting to interpret the ISO and aperture to get the exposure I want. Fun stuff!
Back to this amazing cornbread with maple butter, which is why I’m sure you’re here. The inspiration for it came last weekend, after a several mile hike which included several thousand stairs. (See my previous post here for more about that.) That kind of a hike builds an appetite. On the way home, Tyler and I stopped at Smokey Bones to enjoy some ribs where they served us an amazing appetizer of cornbread and maple butter. That was the best cornbread and butter I have ever had. Maybe it was just because we were starving, but it was gone in less than two minutes from the time it hit the table. The whole time I was eating it, it was screaming to be recreated in my kitchen….
Job searching is stressful! So between interviews and job application stuff, I managed a break to de-stress and to try a new recipe for pretzel rolls. Both Tyler and I love the pretzel rolls sandwiches served at our work cafeterias, so I set out to copycat those rolls. They were amazing! With a perfectly chewy, salty pretzel crust and a moist, fluffy inside, the make fun sandwiches. Plus, its hard not to just keep eating them plain. Which is what I did….